Maybe it was the (finally) crisp autumn air or the fact that Faces of DEF was held at the Double Wide (decked in full Halloween splendor), but something in the atmosphere let me know that this show was worth coming out. At 10 p.m. it was still quiet as hip hop patrons slowly dredged over to Double Wide from the Green Elephant’s lyricist battle. Bored, I tried unsuccessfully to score a Red Bull. Things were off to a slow start, but the evening’s host Free Will, aided by DJ Quick Chris and DJ Tape Master, set the scene for what was to come. By 11 p.m. Will introduced the small crowd to the lineup of Sivion, T-Wrex, MEGA, Cooley Fly, Subchronicles and Swishaman. Half-hyping, half-begging, he urged people to come to the stage from the patio and show the rappers some respect.
Austin's Cooley Fly was up first. This was my introduction to Cooley, and it was a good one. I felt his introspective, mid-tempo flow. He went from two East Coast-flavored joints to the Southern bounce of “Old School to New School,” a song that would have easily fit in with current mainstream radio.
It was a monumental night for Sivion. Last night was his first performance since he was involved in a serious car accident in February. According to him, he shouldn’t even be alive, but he took the stage and rocked like nothing had ever happened. He sped through his set, effortlessly spitting “hot fire” (pardon my Making the Band reference) and not wasting a second between each song. It was a live performance and hella considerate on his part, but it left me wanting more. I ended up buying his CD after he left the stage.
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The scene-stealer of the night was T-Wrex, by far. He looked like an unassuming concertgoer as he moved through the crowd, but when he took the stage to represent for Aggtown (man, that nickname is SO funny to me) he performed with the dexterity and tenacity of a major-label player. He kept the crowd in a choke hold with his sometimes funny, sometimes aggressive flows and then bit their heads off with a “GRRRAAHHH.” -- Quia Querisma